While gay rights groups in California continue to clash over which year to push forward with a pro-gay marriage ballot measure (check out this Queerty post), Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker announced during a San Francisco hearing yesterday that a federal Proposition 8 lawsuit will go to trial on January 11, 2010.

Hot-shot lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, who want to overturn Proposition 8 and were hired by the Los Angeles-based American Foundation for Equal Rights, were seeking that decision.

At that same hearing, Walker also told a group of heavyweight gay rights groups, such as Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, to butt out, denying their request to join the Prop. 8 lawsuit.

Those groups, as well as the ACLU, sent out a press statement Wednesday saying they were “disappointed” with Walker's decision. One

person who's happy about it, though, is Chad Griffin, president of

the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Griffin, a gay

political strategist based in L.A., wanted no part of Lambda Legal and

the rest after they initially criticized the federal lawsuit, among other reasons. He sent a blistering letter to those groups a few weeks ago.

With one feud within the gay rights movement out of the way, the battle to overturn Proposition 8 keeps moving along. Variety managing editor Ted Johnson writes an excellent wrap-up of what Olson and Boies plan to argue at the January trial.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly